Skip to main content

Full text of "Canada wants domestic servants. High wages. Good homes. Healthy climate"

See other formats




Issued by the 
Authority of the Minister of the Interior, 
Ottawa, Canada, 1909 





Farmers, Farm Labourers and 
Female Domestic Servants are the 
only people whom the Canadian 
Immigration Department advises 
to go to Canada. 

All others should get definite 
assurance of employment in 
Canada before leaving home, and 
have money enough to support 
them for a time in case of 

The proper time to reach 
Canada is between the beginning 
of April and the end of September, 
although female domestic servants 
are sure of securing positions at 
once irrespective of the time of 
year they reach Canada. 

Canada Wants Domestic Servants 

In Canada as elsewhere the question of domestic 
service has become one of vast importance. The 
recent census, 1901, reveals an ever growing excess 
of males over females of no less a number than 
150,000, and as in the case of all new countries which 
look to immigration for increase of population, this 
condition is likely to be maintained, owing to the fact 
that the number of male immigrants arriving is 
almost three times that of the female sex. And this in 
spite of the fact that in Canada unemployed women 
are an unknown quantity, and that from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific the same complaint is made 
that there are not enough women. 

The numerous requests for domestic servants 
which are daily received at the different agencies of 
the Immigration Department throughout the Domin- 
ion, the applications which are constantly being 
made for this class of help at employment bureaus 
by ladies desiring same and the large number of 
advertisements for domestics daily appearing in the 
city papers there, prove conclusively that there is no 
scarcity of vacant positions. The domestic servant 
problem is to-day one of the most serious questions 
which the Canadian ladies have to deal with and it 
would be beneficial alike to the employer and em- 
ployee if a large number of female domestics should 
decide at once to emigrate to the Dominion. For 
the twelve months ending June 30, 1904, 1905, 1906 
and 1907, the number of domestics arriving in 
Canada from the British Isles has been 2,523, 3,889, 
4,467 and 5,245 respectively, but this number would 
not have a noticeable effect In decreasing the 
demand even if all had remained in service, while as 
a matter of fact a very large percentage enter the 
matrimonial state shortly after their arrival and in 
turn become themselves mistresses requiring help in 
their household duties. 

In Canada the extremes of poverty and of wealth 
characteristic of older communities in Europe do 
not exist, and a high standard of living and of well- 
being generally is widespread. While there 
many wealthy families throughout Canada, the 

demand for domestic help is confined to the class 
known as " general servants." The wages for this 
class in Canadian cities are much higher than in 
England and the demand is unlimited. 

It must be borne in mind that Canadian house- 
holds where general servants are employed are quite 
differently arranged from English houses, as different 
in internal economy as English and French homes 
in the same class. In Canada the duties of a general 
servant are varied. Mechanical aids to save labor 
are in general use. There are technical schools in 
all the cities where servants may learn cooking free, 
and they are allowed to attend them on certain 
evenings in the week, by their employers. 


Female farm servants are highly paid and the 
demand is very urgent in the eastern townships of 
Quebec, throughout Ontario, and especially in Mani- 
toba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. 
The female farm servant is expected in addition to 
the usual indoor work, to do bread making and 
butter making. Among the attractions which these 
openings offer to women Is the usual pleasant 
equality of the relations which generally prevail on 
farms between employed and employers and their 


The demand for governesses is very small, and no 
one should go to Canada with the expectation of 
obtaining such a position unless a situation has first 
been secured before sailing. Female telephone 
clerks, typists, stenographers and telegraph clerks 
are little in request outside the local supply. Situa- 
tions can sometimes be secured for lady-helps, 
where the young ladies will be treated as one of the 
family, but as such positions are not numerous 
arrangements regarding situation should be made 
before embarking for Canada. 

Wages — A " general " servant is paid in Eastern 
Canada from $6 (£1 5s.) to $15 (£3) a month; in 
Western Canada from $10 (£2) to $20 (£4). Cooks 
are paid from $12 (£2 10s.) to $20 (£4) per month 
except in hotels and restaurants, where they com- 
mand higher wages; housemaids from $8 (£1 12s.) 
to $12 (£2 8s.), nurses the same. Many young girls 
obtain employment as nursemaids. These girls go 
to their homes at night and are paid from $5 (£1) 

to $7 (£1 8s.). Laundresses command good wages, 
earning from $16 (£3 4s.) to $20 (£4), but this is 
in a way skilled labor. The domestic servant has 
her washing, fond and light, her wages are clear 
gain, her only expense being in connection with 


The National Council of Women of Canada, 
founded in 1893 by Lady Aberdeen, has done very 
much to organize, in connection with their local 
Councils throughout the country, ladies' committees 
for the protection and welfare of those engaged in 
domestic service and other female callings, and as a 
consequence, excellent arrangements exist for 
receiving and placing those who may go out to 
Canada for thse purposes. This body is affiliated 
and co-operates with all the principal women's 
organizations in Canada. 


In addition rnusi be mentioned the arrangements 
made by the Immigration service of the Dominion 
Government, with responsible officials stationed at 
various points throughout the country. Domestic 
servants should go at once on their arrival to the 
nearest Government agent. These gentlemen will 
give the best and most reliable advice gratis; they 
have in their offices a list of vacant situations, and 
will refer applicants to the local ladies' committee, 
so that they may have the benefit of such supervi- 
sion and guidance until they are satisfactorily placed. 
Servants should take their credentials with them, as 
good records are indispensable in Canada. They 
may safely go out at any time of the year and be 
certain of obtaining situations at once. 


Emigrants are advised to travel by one of the 
Canadian steamship lines. Booking agents for the 
different steamship lines will upon application supply 
lists giving dates of sailing. During the winier 
months the vessels arrive at Halifax and St. John 
and during the summer at Quebec and Montreal. 


The chief centres in the various Provinces may 
be generally stated as follows. As will he observed 

on pages 4 and B, there is a general tendency of 
wages to rise gradually as one proceeds from the 
east to the wesl 

Nova Scotia. — Halifax, where there is, in propor- 
tion to its size, a large demand for domestic- 
servants, is a garrison town. 

New Brunswick. — St. John, the principal town, 
has an important immigration committee of the 
National Council of Women, which will assist female 
immigrants to find domestic work. 

Quebec — Montreal is the largest city of Canada, 
with 375,000 inhabitants. Tin: 'average wages here 
are higher than anywhere else in the eastern part 
of the Dominion, and trained servants will find a 
large field of employment. 

Ontario. — Toronto is the second largest city of 
Canada, with a population of 315,000. The demand 
for domestic servants of all kinds is very constant, 
wages reaching a high average. Other important 
towns in this Province, from the point of view of 
domestic servants, are Hamilton, London, Kingston, 
and Ottawa, the capital of the Dominion. 

Manitoba. — Winnipeg is the chief centre of this, 
the prairie district of the Dominion, with a popula- 
tion of 120,000. Brandon (13,000), Portage la 
Prairie, and other towns in the Province, are grow- 
ing up rapidly, and offer a good field for domestic 
servants, with higher wages generally than in the 
east. At Winnipeg there is a Girls' Home of Wel- 
come, which is referred to in detail on page 7. 

Saskatchewan. — In this Province, Regina, Moose- 
jaw, Saskatoon, Battleford and Prince Albert are 
the principal centres and they along with the smaller 
towns not mentioned all offer good openings for 

Alberta. — Edmonton is the capital of this Province 
and has a population of about 12,000. Calgary with 
a slightly larger population is situated on the main 
line of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In both these 
cities there is a large demand for female servants, 
as is also the case in smaller centres such as Leth- 
bridge, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin and Strathcona. 

British Columbia. — In this the most westerly 
Province of Canada, the towns of Vancouver. New 
Westminster and Victoria, offers many openings for 
domestic servants with an exceptionally high average 

of wages. 



National Council of Women of Canada, with 21 
Local Councils throughout the Dominion, maintains 
Immigration Committees at the majority of its 
centres, working in affiliation with other Canadian 
women's organizations in almost every city of the 
country, such as the Young Women's Christian 
Association, The Women's Christian Temperance 
Union, The Girls' Friendly Society of Canada, The 
Dominion Order of the King's Daughters, etc., etc. 

Women's National Immigration Society, Montreal, 
87 Osborne Street. Managed by a matron and secre- 
tary under the direction of a committee of ladies. 
Founded in 1882 and supported by annual grants 
from the Dominion and Provincial Governments. 
Object: to afford a shelter to all respectable women 
emigrants, irrespective of sect and nationality. Emi- 
grants on arriving in Montreal are allowed twenty- 
four hours' free board and lodging. On returning 
to the home, or making a longer stay, a reasonable 
charge is made, of $2.50 (10s.) per week, or forty 
cents (Is. 8d.) per day. A registry undertakes the 
placing of immigrants if they desire it. This 
society is in communication with the Local Councils 
of Women of Canada, who kindly undertake to assist 
immigrants going to other towns in the Dominion. 

Andrew's Home, M lielmont Park, Montreal 

Home established by the Tiishop of Montreal for the 
object of assisting and guiding employment of 
English emigrants. It is managed by a House Com- 
mittee under the direction of a corporation composed 
of gentlemen of the city. Home is for both sexes. 

Young Women's Christian Association of Canada, 
with branches in 25 centres, and with boarding 
homes and employment bureaus at Halifax, Quebec, 
Montreal, Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Hamilton, 
Brantford, Peterborough, Calgary, Vancouver and 

Girls' Friendly Society of Canada, Canadian 
branch of the parent Society in England. Church of 
England organization with 22 branches. The Toronto 
Council is the chief centre where information can 
be obtained as to the introduction of members from 
other countries by means of letters of commendation. 

Girls' Horn.- of Welcome, Winnipeg 1 , Austin street. 
Founded by Miss O. L. Fowler, 1897, and supported 
with the help of Government grant and subscrip- 

tiona. The home is managed by a Board of Directors, 
consisting of 36 ladies, and aided by an Advisory 
Board of seven gentlemen. Object: To afford a 
shelter to respectable girls and women. Registry 
office attached. This is the home to which, the 
National Immigration Society sends Its girls and 
women in Winnipeg. 

Toronto Hostel (Miss FitzGibbon In charge), 66 
Wellesley St.. Toronto. 

Calgary Hostel (Miss Ryall in charge), 120 Fourth 
Avenue West, Calgary. 


1. A healthy climate. 

2. A country where law and order are most strictly 
observed and enforced. 

3. A system of education and educational institu- 
tions equal to those of any other country. 

4. Churches of various denominations, which are 
established even in new districts as rapidly as the 
country is settled. 

5. The fullest recognition of civil and religious 
. liberty. 

There is also the fact which must appeal to settlers 
from the United Kingdom, that Canada is British 
territory, and that those who make their home in 
the Dominion maintain their birthright, their 
allegiance, and their flag, remaining British subjects 
in every sense of the term. 


The Steamship Lines carrying emigrants to 
Canadian Ports are the Allan Bros., J. & A. Allan. 
Canadian Pacific. White Star-Dominion and Donald- 
son. The principal points from which they sail are 
Liverpool, London, Glasgow and Londonderry. They 
arrive at the Canadian Ports of Halifax, St. John, 
Quebec or Montreal, and in some cases during winter 
months, at the United States Port of Portland, 
Maine. Generally speaking. Halifax and St. John 
are the ports of arrival from November 15th to May 
1st. and Quebec and Montreal from May 1st to 
November 15th. 

The rates for passage are regulated by the steam- 
ship companies and are subject to change, but full 
details can, at all times, be obtained by consulting 
the sailing lists published, or by interviewing any 
booking agent In the United Kingdom. 



The Immigration Department has appointed a 
large number of Canadian Government employment 
agents in Ontario to secure situations for farm 
labourers and domestic servants. These agents are 
well acquainted in the vicinities in which they are at 
work and will so far as possible see that all emi- 
grants going to them are well plated, but it must be 
distinctly remembered that they will not interest 
themselves in those desiring situations as clerks, 
mechanics or any other occupations outside of farm 
labourers or domestic servants. 

A domestic servant proceeding to Ontario should 
ask the booking agent from whom she purchases her 
ticket for a list showing the names and addresses of 
the agents mentioned above; she should then select 
one of the places at which an agent resides and 
purchase her transportation to that point. The 
booking agent will immediately notify the Govern- 
ment Employment Agent as to the date upon which 
she intends to commence her journey so that upon 
arrival at her destination a suitable situation will 
have been selected for her. 

Those desiring situations in Nova Scotia should 
apply to F. W. Annand, Dominion Government 
Immigration Agent, Halifax. N.S. Those wishing to 
remain in New Brunswick may secure positions by 
applying to J. V. Lantalum, Dominion Government 
Immigration Agent, St. John, N.B. Dr. J. P. Lavoie, 
Immigration Agent at Quebec, P.Q., or John 
Hoolahan, Immigration Agent at Montreal, will place 
all domestics who wish positions in the Province of 
Quebec, while those going to or west of Winnipeg 
should apply to J. Bruce Walker, Commissioner of 
Immigration. Winnipeg, Manitoba, who has always 
a large list of vacancies for domestic servants in the 
Western Provlm 


The following three letters from domestics who 
have succeeded in Canada are fair samples of 
thousands of the same class which are yearly written 
to the Immigration Branch, to booking agents and 
to friends remaining In the old land. 

Dear Sir: 

I came from Pollockshields, Glasgow. I had been 
a general servant in a private house in that district 
for 2]A years. My wages, per month, were £1 10s. 
I belong to Ireland; my home is there and my father 
keeps a small farm. I worked for three years In a 
farm house there before I came to Glasgow. 

1 must say that I like Canada very well. I would 
strongly advise any person I know to come to this 
country and I intend to encourage them to be pre- 
pared for next spring. It is such a beautiful country 
and I must say that they have a far better method 
of working than the Old Country folks. I like my 
situation very well; the people I am staying with 
are so kind. My wages here are $8.00 per month. 
Yours truly, 
(Signed), AGNES McGURRIN. 



Having been asked to write a few lines as to how 
I like Canada. Well, I came here from Galashiels, 
in the County of Selkirk, in Scotland. I was in a 
hotel there, and I find Canada a much better place 
in every way than the Old Country. Servants are 
much better treated here than they are at home and 
wages are much better, and there seems to be a 
great demand for domestic servants out here, espe- 
cially if they can cook a little. A good cook gets a 
good wage out here. Of course, there are some 
things that are a little different than at home, but 
one soon learns if they are willing. Of course, only 
being out here a few months I cannot say very much 

about the place as yet, but would advise any girl if 
she wants a good place and a good home to come to 
Canada, and everything seems to be done to save 
labour. I have got a good place and there are manj 
such iu be found here, so if any girl would like to 
come to Canada, she should come out at once. 


Cr. Col. Wm. Cole, 

Brockville, Ont., Can. 

Dear Sir: 

Just a line or two to let you know how I am get- 
ting on since I came out to Virden in the spring. 1 
like Canada very much, and can't write too highly 
about the people in the district, they are all so kind 
to us strangers. There are fifteen of the girls who 
came out on the "Corinthian" round about Virden, 
and all liking it well. Virden is a tine clean little 
town and one man or woman is considered as good 
as another. 

It is about the way I was treated lately when 1 
was ill that I wish to tell you particularly. I was 
in a situation and took typhoid fever and I don't 
know who was the kindest to me. 1 was sent to 
the hospital at Brandon by the St. Andrew's Society 
of Virden, who got a semi-private ward for me and 
when I was better they paid off the hospital and 
doctors' expenses and the Government paid the rest, 
so I was not out one cent. It was almost good to be 
ill to see people so kind, for although the doctor 
would not allow visitors, the Brandon ladies sent 
in the most lovely flowers to me and nearly every 
day some one was telephoning and enquiring for me. 
I am all right again and able for work. 

There are far more people wanting help than 
there are girls for. I would like so much for my 
two sisters to come in the spring. Three of the 
Edinburgh girls who came out with me are in Bran- 
don. I got my baggage all right and we had a nice 
trip out. I have been long in writing to tell you how 
I am getting on, but time passes so quickly. Be- 
lieve me, 

Yours truly, 
(Signed), AN.VIE CAMERON. 



The Immigration Department in Canada, with the 
object of ascertaining the satisfaction given by im- 
migrants, frequently writes to the employer of such 
help and the following are samples of the replies re- 
ceived concerning domestic servants : — 

45 Pape Avenue, TORONTO, Ont. 
Dear Sir: 

Alice Boorman came to us on July 20 of this year. 
She is a good, thoroughly reliable girl and is giving 
entire satisfaction. Her wages are fifteen dollars a 

Though you have only asked about Alice, I would 
like to tell you that we have another servant (house- 
maid) who came from England last year and who is 
equally good and capable. Her wages — fifteen' dol- 
lars also. 

Very sincerely yours, 

(Signed), MRS. A. L. MACDONALD. 

36 Dale Avenue, TORONTO, Ont. 
Dear Sir: 

Emma Keys has only been out a month. So far I 
have found her a very nice girl, very willing and 
anxious to please. I am paying her $15.00 as cook. 
I should say she was a very good class of immi- 
grant and there is plenty of room for more of the 
same kind. 

Yours truly, 

174 Jamleson Aj-enue, TORONTO, Ont. 
Sir : 

Mary Alcock came to me last May; is still with 
me, giving splendid satisfaction. She is capable, 
conscientious and thoroughly trustworthy, physically 
strong and morally all that could be desired. 
Tours truly, 


142 Cherrier Street, MONTREAL, Que. 
W. D. Scott, Esq., Ottawa: 

Dear Sir,— Hannah Bowler has been in my service 
for five months. She is a very good conscientious 
servant, and I am well pleased wild her. She is 
receiving at present twelve dollars per month and is 
very saving. She has induced three of her friends to 
join her in Canada and they are all doing well. 

Yours very sincerely, 

(Signed), MRS. M. RUTLEDGE. 

W. D. Scott, Esq.., Ottawa: 

Dear Sir,— Mrs. Farley is well pleased with Miss 
Montgomery. She is a splendid fine girl and does 
her work thoroughly and well. She worked two 
weeks for $2 per week and Mrs. Farley was so well 
suited with her that she raised her wages to $2.50 

per week. 

Yours sincerely, 
(Signed) H. FARLEY, M.D. 

467 Cote St. Antoine Rcl., WESTMOUNT, Que. 

Dear Sir: . . 

You are quite right in your information. Lizzie 
Dann came to us as a domestic on the 11th of April 
and remained with us until the 11th of September, 
when she was married to George Bathe, a young 
Englishman who came out on the same ship. Lizzie 
was a most satisfactory and capable girl and we 
were extremely sorry to lose her. 

YnuT' faithfully, 
(Signed) W .E. FOSTER. 


Dear Sir: , _ ... 

Mary A Fraser has been with me since June 5th 
this year. We pay her $6.00 per month thus far, but 
expect to give her $7.00 in the spring if she remains 
She gives fair satisfaction; is not very accustomed 
to farm work, but is willing to learn. She is very 
trusty and honorable, which we prize highly with a 
family of bovs and girls such as we have. We trust 
we may be able to keep her for some time to come. 
Yours, etc., 
(Signed), J. W. CREWS. 

W. D. Scott, Supt of Immigration, Ottawa. 

169 Madison Avenue, TORONTO, Ont. 

W. I>. Scott, Esq.. Superintendent of Immigration: 

Dear Sir. -Rachel Sampson Is still with us us 
domestic. We find her willing, honest and trust- 
worthy. .She knew little or none of domestic work 
On arrival, but has learnt quickly. We give her 
twelve dollars a month. Believe me, 

Yours truly, 

(Signed), A. MACKELLAR. 

Dear Sir : 

Replying to the above, the girl Lizzie Hobart, 
worked fur me one month on her arrival from the 
old country, am! 1 found her one of the most 
thorough servants in our 40 years experience. As her 
mother and sister found employment in Ottawa she 
left for there on the expiration of her month's en- 
gagement. I paid her $10.00 per month. 

Q-irls of this style. 1 am certain could And employ- 
ment in any town or city in Canada at the very high- 
est wages obtained. 

fours truly, 

(Sign.. 1 i. JNO. D. CRAM. 



Intending emigrants would do well, before de- 
ciding upon the particular locality to which to go, to 
consult one of the Canadian Government Agents in 
the United Kingdom, who will, without charge, freely 
give, either personally or by letter, full and reliable 
details regarding any point, upon which intending 
emigrants desire information. The following is a 
list of the Canadian Government Agents in the 
United Kingdom : 


Mr. J. Obed Smith, Assistant Superintendent of 
Emigration, 11-12 Charing Cross, London, S.W. 

Mr. A. P; Jury. Old Castle Bldgs., Preeson's Row. 

Mr. G. H. Mitchell, 139 Corporation Street, Bir- 

Mr. Alex. McOwan, 81 Queen Street, Exeter. 

Mr. L. Burnett, 16 Parliament Street, York. 


Mr. Malcolm Mclntyre, 35-37 St. Enoch Square, 

Mr. John McLennan, 26 Guild Street, Aberdeen. 


Mr. John Webster, 17-19 Victoria Street, Belfast. 
Mr. Edward O'Kelly, 44 Dawson Street, Dublin. 
No fees charged by Government Agents. 


The Canadian Immigration Department desires 
emigrants and booking agents to distinctly under- 
stand that it Is not responsible for any statements 
made by Employment Bureaus or others In the 
United Kingdom, apart from those contained In 
printed pamphlets or circulars of the Department. 

Farmers, Farm Labourers, and Female Domestic 
Servants are the only people whom the Canadian 
Immigr ation Department advises to go to Canada. 

AH others should get definite assurance of employ- 
ment in Canada before leaving homo, and have 
money enough to support them for a time in case of 

The proper time to reach Canada i- between the 
beginning or April and the cud or September.